In June 2018, Glencore Coal embarked on a mission to empower local communities by offering free Wi-Fi in its operation area. Initially, we set up ten free Wi-Fi hotspots in Ogies and Phola in the eMalahleni Municipality. The project’s immediate success prompted us to continue with the rollout and over the next two years, we expanded our offering into both Steve Tshwete and Emakhazeni Municipalities. Today we are proud to have 30 hotspots where our communities can enjoy free Wi-Fi offered by our partner, Project Isizwe.
Since the inception of the Wi-Fi project, we have been monitoring total data usage. If one considers the high data costs in South Africa, offering free data to rural communities equates to massive saving to our communities. How much? We are delighted to announce that we have reached the 100 million mark with a total community savings of R102 075 369,00 in data costs. Some of our notable milestones include the highest number of users in a single day with 8,134 users who used 1,317GB of data on 20 January 2021. Our host communities are consuming over 28,000 GB of data for free, each month.
The Wi-Fi project forms part of our commitment to building sustainable communities and empowering our community members in Ogies, Phola, Kwa-Guqa, Kriel, Middelburg and Wonderfontein. By providing free Wi-Fi, we enable students to increase their knowledge through research and access to e-Learning platforms and provide a connected, stimulating environment for local entrepreneurs and business owners to grow.
Shireen Powell, Chief Operating Officer of Isizwe, said, “We are happy to collaborate with Glencore and provide connectivity to people. Our vision is to connect the entire nation, and it is partners like Glencore, who are the true heroes. They enable us to empower African communities.”
“Our focus for 2021 and beyond is to expand our offering. In collaboration with Project Isizwe, we are identifying new opportunities to empower our communities further.” – she stated
Image Courtesy: Supplied